Mexican election front-runner offers referendums, could end term early

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday he will hold a referendum on his performance every two years if he wins election in July, and would cut his six-year term short if he loses the consultation.

The leftist, who is running for president for the third time, promises to end corruption and fight inequality without disrupting the economy. Critics fear he will put the brakes on economic reforms brought in by President Enrique Pena Nieto.

A former Mexico City mayor, Lopez Obrador has a wide lead in most opinion polls.

“Every two years there will be a popular consultation to ask if you want me to remain in the presidency or if I should resign,” Lopez Obrador said, in a brief speech after formally registering his candidacy with electoral authorities.

Mexican presidents are permitted only one term of six years, and the 64-year-old Lopez Obrador said last week he would not be seeking to change the law to allow him to run again.

Lopez Obrador cited famous Mexican presidents Benito Juarez, Francisco I. Madero and Lazaro Cardenas, saying he wanted to be remembered as one of the country’s best leaders.

“I’m conscious of my historic responsibility,” he told supporters. “I won’t fail the people, I won’t betray the country.”

Lopez Obrador did not give more details of how the “popular consultations” would be carried out. Mexico’s constitution does not mention recall referendums.

He repeated his plan to amend an article in the constitution to make it possible to try presidents for corruption.

Editing by Matthew Lewis